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The Secret of Platform 13

3.9 of 5 stars 3.90  ·  rating details  ·  7,216 ratings  ·  463 reviews
A forgotten door on an abandoned railway platform is the entrance to a magical kingdom--an island where humans live happily with feys, mermaids, ogres, and other wonderful creatures. Carefully hidden from the world, the Island is only accessible when the door opens for nine days every nine years. A lot can go wrong in nine days. When the beastly Mrs. Trottle kidnaps the pr ...more
Paperback, 231 pages
Published June 1st 2001 by Puffin Books (first published January 1st 1994)
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Community Reviews

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One of my kids brought this book home from the school library several years ago and (true to form) I swiped it when they were done and read it.* I think younger Harry Potter fans would enjoy this book. As in the HP books, there's a platform at London's Kings Cross Station that leads to a different, magical world.** This magical porthole opens only once every nine years, for a nine-day period. Nine years ago, the baby prince of this magical land was kidnapped while visiting our world. And now tha ...more
LH Johnson
Oh, oh, oh, my love for Eva Ibbotson utterly continues.

The Secret of Platform 13 is furiously magical and madly inventive. It's the story of a hidden island, wrapped away from the 'everyday' by magic and mists (mists made, fyi, by the *most* amazing creation ever - mistmakers, seal-like creatures who produce mist every time they hear beautiful music). The island is accessible through a secret door on Platform 13, Kings Cross which opens briefly every nine years.

The island is desperately missin
Nov 08, 2008 Jess rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: fans of Dahl, Rowling
Shelves: fantasy, juv, lis565
Chapter book - fantasy
For grades 2-7

An ogre, a wizard, a fey and a hag are sent to our world to rescue a young prince who was stolen as a baby in this humorous, low-fantasy adventure.

Every nine years, for nine days, a doorway is open between our world and the Island, which is inhabited by all manner of fantastical creatures; when four of these magical people come through to rescue their prince, the mix-ups and adventure that ensue are more than enough to keep any young fantasy fan entertained. I
Jori Richardson
I was browsing through a thrift store, and when I saw this short little children's book, I decided to read it right on the spot.
I remember seeing this book everywhere when I was a younger teenager, but for some reason I never ended up reading it. It was probably during the years that I refused to read anything but historical fiction and classics (which, I must admit, still sounds loosely similar to how things are today).

But anyways.

In "The Secret of Platform 13," there is an Island somewhere (no
My foray into the crazy world of Eva Ibbotson continues!

Platform 13 at London Station has remained shut since a very long time. But any attempts to make renovations always....always get botched up. The reason being that Platform 13 hides a "gump" : an opening to a secret, utopian island. It is a blissful place, ruled by a well-loved King and Queen and plays home to all kinds of humans, animals and magical creatures. However the gump opens once in nine years for nine hours only. So anyone who wan
These are third grade student reviews!

This surprisingly twisty turny tale is about a fey, a magnificent wizard, a magical garden lady, and last, a floating eyeball (or an Ogre if you would be so kind.) They all live on an island in peace until someone no one knows steels the baby prince and everyone is dreadfully sad. This is when the story really begins…
No one except the rescuers know what’s in the world of London. The King and Queen make the rescuers set out to find their long lost son. O
Laurel S
The Secret of Platform 13 by Eva Ibbotson is a book about a motley crew of rescuers who find that their mission to save their prince will not be so easy after all. The first chapter is about a prince that was born on a magic island hidden in mist. In a secret cove there is this kind of door called a "gump" that opens for a short time before closing again for 9 years. The little prince is lost on the other side of the gump in London and is stuck there for 9 years. The next time the gump opens the ...more
There’s a Gump in every country, a special grassy mound with a hidden door which leads to a magical world. In Great Britain, this place is hidden under the platform 13 at Kings Cross Station, opened once every nine years and guarded by the Ghosts of the Gump.

The three nurses of the new-born Prince of the land: Violet, Lily and Rose step into the other side taking the baby with them to visit their old world. During this short visit Mrs. Trottle, a rich wicked lady steals the Prince and disappear
Von Fritz
I saw a copy of this at Booksale some years ago. The title is catchy enough: The Secret of Platform 13. Which sounds like, Platform 9 3/4. Harry Potter rip off? I didn't mind.

Then I saw a bargain copy lately, back to back books by Eva Ibbotson for only 55 Php. Cool enough. Two books: The Secret of Platform 13 and Island of the Aunts. I started reading The Secret of Platform 13 as soon as possible. I was inspired when I saw the publishing year: 1994. Harry Potter was first published 1997. So the
Carly Green
This book has magic flowing throughout every word- I can't stress enough how much I love it. I still have the old copy from when I was very small, with my name shakily written on the inside cover. When we were asked at school what we thought heaven would be like, I simply read out Ibbotson's description of 'the island', an island with curving beaches, mermaids, hags and the all-important mistmakers. It manages to include everything a child would need to know about being good and kind, about how ...more
Lee Nespor
Definitely some similarities to Harry Potter - certain fundamental elements are there, the biggest being Kings Cross Platform 13, but where as Ibbotson handles the passage to magic in a CS Lewis manner (cloakroom doorway into another world), Rowling places it all firmly within our world and keeps it there. There is also the main character similarity - poor orphan boy living with mean adults who ignore him while adoring their spoiled son. Definitely rings some bells, but again not unique. You cou ...more
Brianna Mathes
In a magical kingdom, a King and Queen are blessed with a baby. They decide they have too many things to do and hire 3 nanny's. The nanny's start to get homesick and ask to take the baby to platform 13 and go back to where they grew up, London, England.The King and Queen finally aprove of their idea. While the nanny's are in london getting fish and chips, someone snatches the baby. The nanny's travel back to the kingdom with the bad news. The King and Queen and everyone in the kingdom became de ...more
Chtěla bych mít doma taky jednoho mlhoděje, a kdyby to šlo jednu bloudu za humny, až už budu z tohohole světa fakt unavená.
Robin Stevens
Joyous, magical storytelling with honesty, heart and a wonderful way of seeing the world. A modern classic.
I read this book back in 1996 I think (it was pre Harry Potter I know that) and I've been searching for this book for probably over 10 years now trying to remember the title. Long story short, I found it! And read it again!

To review it, obviously it's a children's book but the story is still good. I had to keep reminding myself of that fact because I wanted more out of it. I rated it 4 stars probably mostly out of nostalgia. This book and Harry Potter got me loving books and readying when I was
Julie Decker
A magical island is hidden under Platform 13 at the subway station. As with most things magic, this doesn't make much sense, but it is so, and the gateway between our world and the magical world only opens every nine years. And unfortunately, the last time the gateway was open, the island's beloved prince was stolen, with the gateway closing before anyone could get him. He's been being raised in the mundane world for nine years, and now his countryfellows want him back. An expedition is prepared ...more
What happens when you give an 8 year old girl, who doesn't think boys have cooties, has way too much time on her hands, and has the imaginative mind of Calvin? You'd probably get something along the lines of The Secret of Platform 13 . This book, as i will go into, is a very cute, nice, quick fantasy book. So what are we waiting for? Let's travel to the world of Gump!

The Story: Under platform 13 on the London Train station, lies a bunch of old, tarnished posters. But beyond that is a world wher
Helen Byrne
This is a brilliant story about a secret portal beneath a railway station leading to a mystical island kingdom far, far away. The portal only opens once every nine years and the last time it opened the king and queen’s newborn baby was stolen. An elderly wizard, a magical fey, an invisible ogre and a young hag try to find him but now the nine-year-old prince doesn’t want to be rescued. This book would be suitable for 8 – 9 year-olds to read on their own or you could read it aloud to 6 – 7 year-o ...more
The Secret of Platform 13

I have always been fascinated how Rowling got the idea of the platform nine and three quarters. Well, I stumbled upon this book and- voila! she actually just borrowed it from someone else.. And nothing is wrong with that. Infact on one of the author's interviews she said "she would like to shake her by the hand. I think we all borrow from each other as writers."

I've been reading this to the kids, a chapter each night. I chose it because it was on a recommended reading list in the library. They enjoyed The 13 Clocks so much, I thought I would try another amusing fantasy-type story. It's adorable (I actually cheated, and read to the end one night after they fell asleep).
I liked some of the characters and the world of the book, but it was just too predictable for me. I kept waiting for a surprise or twist, but there wasn't one.

My 13yo son liked this book and says my review is not fair. He pointed out that there actually is a fun twist and just because I guessed a central plot point doesn't mean most people will. I think if I didn't know how it was going to turn out, the trouble the little band of fairytale characters was having in our world would have been much
Lee Anne
Fun, lighthearted book about a motley group of rescuers who must save their kingdom’s prince from a kidnapper—nine years after the fact. Who could forget the loveable mistmakers?
My sister-in-law bought a copy of The Secret of Platform 13 and recommended that I give it a try since I like fantasy stories. After reading the book I feel like any younger fantasy reader would really enjoy this book.

The book is meant for children between 9 and 12; however, I think it would be appropriate for even younger children. The story has a very simple plot with a few, easily predictable (for adults anyway) twists along the way. I loved the easy to read writing style and the dialogue bet
Fanda Kutubuku
Eva Ibbotson memang piawai menulis kisah2 petualangan dengan hantu-hantunya. Enak dinikmati, ceritanya mengalir, dan meski buku ini ditujukan untuk anak-anak, tapi tetap menarik dibaca orang dewasa dengan imajinasi tinggi terhadap kisah fantasi.

Peron 13 mengingatkanku pada Harry Potter (dengan peron 9 1/2-nya). Keduanya berlokasi sama, di stasiun ter-ramai di London: King's Cross. Bedanya disini, setelah kau melewati ruang mantel laki-laki, kau akan menemukan lorong yang menuju ke sebuah pantai.
Ms. Patterson
Nine years before, the last time the magical portal under Platform 13 was opened, the prince of the magical Island was taken to England by his three nurses. It was only supposed to be a short trip to get some fish and chips, but while they were there the prince was stolen by Mrs. Trottle. The entire magical Island had to wait nine years for the portal to open again to find the prince. The King and Queen assign the wizard, Cor, a fey named Gurkie, and Hans the giant, to go rescue the prince. A yo ...more
Alex Matsu
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
The Secret of Platform 13 is arguably one of Eva Ibbotson's most famous books. The plot revolves around a secret island that can only be accessed every nine years for only nine days, when a magical doorway called a gump opens up. At the beginning of the book, the infant prince of the island is taken through the gump into the regular world (i.e., England, because it's always England) by his nursemaids. He is kidnapped, and unfortunately no one notices until the nursemaids have crossed back throug ...more
Saniya(Will Herondale is mine)
Well, this book was okay. It wasn't that good as I was expecting because everyone loved it, but then I just didn't see anything good in it. The characters were weird and somewhat lame and the story was fine too.
The first thing that I didn't like about this book were the Characters. They weren't that good. Beside from Raymond- because he was meant to be angry and rude and all, everyone was rude! I mean I just can't imagine a nine years old girl calling people names. The story was kind of a flop
Night Fury
A neat story.

For a ten year old or twelve - I don't know.

Despite my ruthless comment up there, from the POV of a ten-or-twelve-year-old, the story was pretty interesting. Don't get me wrong. But seeing as I am no longer of that age, I don't WANT to give the review.

*Reverse psychology forces me to write*

The Secret of Platform 13 is as gripping as they come. (K fine... I probably found it not-so-boring)
But I'll come straight to the point - The plot was VERY obvious to me after I had read a few ch
The Secret of Platform 13 is the book everyone reads once they've finished Harry Potter and are dying for more. I first read it in a 4th grade book club, complete with brownies and all, in which I thought it was a good read, but entirely too forgettable. I still do think that Which Witch? is Ibbotson's best work by far, but this story is an engaging one as well. I could go on and on with the plentiful and slightly obvious Harry Potter parallels, so I'll spare you for now. I recommend this quirky ...more
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What's The Name o...: All I can remember is fish and chips! [s] 3 19 Aug 31, 2014 10:07PM  
JK rowling stealing ideas! 21 209 Jun 27, 2014 04:27PM  
What's The Name o...: SOLVED. Fantasy Book about lost prince at birth [s] 3 46 May 13, 2014 12:13AM  
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Eva Ibbotson (born Maria Charlotte Michelle Wiesner, 1925, Vienna, Austria) was a British novelist specializing in romance and children's fantasy. Eva Ibbotson was born in Vienna, Austria, in 1925. When Hitler came into power, Ibbotson's family moved to England. She attended Bedford College, graduating in 1945; Cambridge University from 1946-47; and the University of Durham, from which she graduat ...more
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“It's true that adventures are good for people even when they are very young. Adventures can get in a person's blood even if he doesn't remember having them. ” 131 likes
“She spoke to the King, hoping he would forbid his son to go, but he said: "Well, dear, it's true that adventures are good for people even when they are very young. Adventures can get into a person's blood even if he doesn't remember having them.” 19 likes
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